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#34516 - 08/07/18 03:54 PM Joint cutting - Process
Jon Senior Offline
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Registered: 05/04/11
Posts: 132
OK. So time and again I've seen the same order of process for cutting a joint, in books, videos and descriptions online:

1. Cut tenon
2. Cut mortise (these two often reversed)
3. Drill peg hole in mortise
4. Drill peg hole in tenon.

Step 3 inevitable mentions that when the drill bit passes through the mortise you should take care to assure the alignment because the bit can move at this point.

This was the method I learnt from reading Tedd Benson's and from Jack Sobon's books and from countless videos on YouTube. And then I did my CAP here in France where we told to also drill the peg hole before cutting the mortise because otherwise the drill bit can wander as it passes though the already cut mortise. And this seems really obvious although I feel somewhat daft that I hadn't figured this out for myself while cutting the joints for our frame.

So I'm just putting this out there for those people who might (like me) have learnt one method and never questioned it. Drill your peg holes first. Then you don't have to work so hard to maintain the alignment and your draw bores will be smoother and more consistant (consistent difference in spacing on each side of the tenon.

Just my 2 €c... it's been bugging me for a while.
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#34517 - 08/07/18 04:40 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jim Rogers Online   confused

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Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 1639
Loc: Georgetown, MA, USA
I have heard that some people bore the peg hole before hogging out the mortise wood.
However if the frame is going to sit for a while, as the joints are being cut part time, nights and weekends, it is possible that the hole will/may distort when it drys.
I usually cut all the joints and then during my fit up testing of the frame, bore the peg holes.
This works for me.
I feel that the peg hole beyond the second side of the mortise is not that critical and if it wanders off a little it's not the end of the world.
Jim Rogers
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#34518 - 08/08/18 08:38 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Will B Offline

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Registered: 10/02/02
Posts: 197
Loc: Massachusetts
If using a boring machine or electric drill with feed screw I drill the pin hole after the mortise is cut, otherwise the mortising bit might lose its draw when it hits the pin hole. With a chain mortiser it doesn't matter and I'll usually drill the pin first, mainly to avoid a chip tearing out when I break through the first mortise wall with the pin bit. I don't think bit drift is a problem as long as you're reasonably careful to keep the bit square to the surface with a mirror or square. After all, the bit is straight and the pin is straight; its unlikely the bit will bend. If you're careful you shouldn't be that far off your drawbore on the tenon IF you're drilling from the reference face and your mortise is closer to that face (as in edge square rule). Actually, drilling the pin hole after the mortise gives you the opportunity to REsquare up the bit if you've drifted a bit at the start.
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#34519 - 08/08/18 07:03 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 534
Loc: Vermont
Hi Jon,

There is logic (to a point) in your shared method. I would point out that Jim's point is very true from both a practical and historical perspective.

As to actually "worrying" about the drift of a trunnel bore going off track, it really isn't that big an issue all things considered.

From a contemporary approach, I agree with both Jim and Will on their reasonings.

I can also share from a "traditional approach" system prespective, that holes seldom to never got board first. The documentation evidence I have found hasn't suggested it (not to say that its not out there?) nor would tradtional logic support such an approach or worry about it drift that much.

Originally this kind of work was done with a T-Auger. As such, any extra wood to bore through would (and was!) avoided at all cost.

Most of my first frames and through my traditional apprenticeship, this was the tool of choice for creating the bore for trunnel and for hogging out mortise. With such a tool, the idea of drilling through extra wood just to avoid not paying attention to "bit drift" would be greatly outweighed by the extra labor. Paying attention to what I was doing was much easier than any extra labor of boring through more wood than I had to...

With the advent of a boring machine (miller falls is still my favorite!!) the worry of drift fell virtually by the wayside for the most part both in my personal world and from what I can ascertain historically, as any drift that would occur is negligible if everything is sharp and in operational order.

With our modern Mafell tool guides this is virtually not even something that is ever really thought about. I would also share that I do not peg most of the frames I design and/or are part of at all or very little. Often with square trunnel if it does occur. This is true for almost all contemporary frames I'm part of. Many of the traditional ones as well often don't have as many pegged joints as I see in contemporary frames. Especially braces which are seldom pegged in my experience, which seems to be a regional manifestation and mainly for the reason of raising...not joint structural integrity...

Thanks for sharing Jon...Great topic!

j


Edited by Jay White Cloud (08/08/18 07:06 PM)
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#34520 - 08/10/18 04:20 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Dave Shepard Online   content
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Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 717
Loc: Alford, MA
Drilling the peg hole before boring the mortise can cause the boring bit to jam. I bore all peg holes, both mortise and tenon, at the same time I cut the joinery. I have had no problems, even if the timbers are stored. If there is a storage problem, the timber has usually destroyed itself in some other way.
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#34521 - 08/15/18 03:15 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 295
Loc: the Netherlands
Some responses make the point that 100% accuracy in this matter (meaning a perfectly perpendicular peg hole in the mortise) is fine but not so critical and this is my experience in practical terms also as long as the peg goes in one side, passes through the tenon hole and then out the other side. Maybe this idea of perpendicular has some relation to wood movement in the interim between cutting joints and assembly, or maybe it is just a matter of neat working.
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#34522 - 08/15/18 06:35 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
TIMBEAL Offline
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Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1882
Loc: Maine
Another factor to add is the effect of drawboring the joint. The draw bore not only pulls the joint together during assembly and as drying occurs, it also puts you on the side of correcting error. If you mark out your holes exactly and one is off one way or the other it can in effect push the joint apart, so we ensure a correct pull to the joint by forcing the joint to come together with a draw bore. Even if the mortice hole is bored a little off the draw more often than not, I don't think I have ever had one push the joint apart when done correctly, will allow the joint to come full together. Preassembly and pricking the tenon through the mortice peg hole will give very accurate peg location regardless of the angle of the mortice peg hole. Why do we feel the need to be so exact in some small aspects of our work? There are many ways to over come such hang ups. I never bore the peg hole before mortice work. Maybe if I was using a chain morticer, but even then I wouldn't.

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#34523 - 08/16/18 09:24 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jon Senior Offline
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Registered: 05/04/11
Posts: 132
An interesting range of responses. There are perhaps 2/3 factors at work here. The first is that boring machines are non-existant here. Those of us without chain mortisers are boring out our mortises with a power drill, often with no stand. Drilling guides can be found in some shops but in the 5 places I worked during my course I only ever saw one drill guide (A really nice Mafell with matching carpentry drill). I do notice when the bit passes through my pre-drilled mortises, but it's never posed a problem. Obviously with a boring machine losing the lead thread might be more of an issue.

Secondly, I was taught "standard practice" here and a standard roof truss here is made from 8x23 (75mm x 225mm) timbers. A 30mm wide mortise in a 75mm wide timber leaves you with ~20mm each side of the mortise. An alignment issue will blow out the fibres as the peg exits the tenon. I've seen it done a few times.

Tim: I wouldn't call it a hang-up. My post stemmed from the fact that my personal experience led me to find this to be a better system. And having a routine is not a hang-up. Your routine is to bore peg holes after. Jim does it just before raising.

Don: It's not necessarily about being perpendicular. It's about alignment. A mis-aligned peg hole can put more pressure on one side of the tenon than the other, or cause blow out of fibres on the exit side. But in large timbers this is rarely an issue (the peg just gets stuck).

What I really find interesting about this is that each person seems to have their own reason for drilling pegs holes after cutting the mortise. Which suggests that it's not a universal system because it's taught that way, or at least everyone has found their own justification.
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#34524 - 08/16/18 12:26 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 295
Loc: the Netherlands
If your anything like they are in Germany using what I consider real short and blunt pegs couldn't a solution to blow-out or getting stumped against the far side of the mortise as a consequence of less than perfect alignment be more peg length and bevel it over the first 1/3 of that length? This is sort of the standard of practice as you call it here in my area. That's a good point about uneven stress on the tenon in the case of an angled peg hole.
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#34525 - 08/16/18 02:31 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jon Senior Offline
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Registered: 05/04/11
Posts: 132
That's how we do pegs here (mostly). 3 cuts with a bisaigue. The first makes a large flat that cuts across about 60% of the diameter. The next 2 make shorter flats at 90° to the first to make a flattened off-centre point.

Some of us then make one final short cut opposite the first one, this helps with extreme draw bores or narrow timbers to prevent blowout.

Personally I like to have long enough pegs to drive them until they bind and then cut them off on both sides to clean up.
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#34526 - 08/16/18 05:27 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Will B Offline

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Registered: 10/02/02
Posts: 197
Loc: Massachusetts
Jon,
I'm surprised to read that you have 30mm mortises in 75 mm timbers. We generally keep our mortises to 1/3-1/4 the width of the timber, and wouldn't make a mortise in a 75mm timber any wider than 20-25mm. Mortises do more damage than any advantage a thicker tenon provides. Maybe that thicker tenon and thin mortise walls is a cause of the blow-out you mention. In my opinion you should try to always have mortise walls on both sides of the tenon (and pin penetration on both sides) equal or more than tenon thickness.
By the way, I learned the 1/3 maximum rule of thumb from compagnons in France.
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#34528 - 08/19/18 09:43 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jon Senior Offline
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Registered: 05/04/11
Posts: 132
Will,

All mortises here are 30mm. Eventually you might find someone building in really heavy timber or building something where the tenon might be forced to work in traction that might push it larger but I've never seen nor heard of it in practice. Neither in modern construction, nor in any of the older buildings that I've worked on. The 1/3 rule tends to stay in the domain of menuiserie (joinery). In carpentry it's 30mm all the way.

And while the 30mm standard developed at a time when most timber construction was in 15cm square oak, since the dawn of the industrial era and milled pine availability there have been 30mm mortises in 75mm (and sometimes, although more rarely 63mm) timbers with no real problems... except that we feel a greater need to maintain the peg hole alignment apparently! :)-
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#34531 - 08/19/18 09:20 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 534
Loc: Vermont
Hello Jon, et al,

I apologize ahead of time for all the "quote commenting" but it really is the only way I personally can keep track of all the questions and/or thoughts I have on this very interesting topic that you have brought to us all...Thank you for that!!!

There has been, for sure, some very interesting shared views and you are giving us a well reflected perspective of timber framing from another region of the world with both a healthy contemporary application of the craft...as well as...it's rich historical timber framing past...Awesome!!!

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
The first is that boring machines are non-existant here. Those of us without chain mortisers are boring out our mortises with a power drill, often with no stand...


Is this a contemporary perspective and/or historical?

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
Secondly, I was taught "standard practice" here...


In regards to both the smaller size of timber (much more in the Asian size ranges) and to the practice of boring before the timber is mortised...Is this restricted to a contemporary practice or do you have citable documentation that suggest the "pre-boring" and smaller timbers was also an historical "standard practice" for you region?

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
A mis-aligned peg hole can put more pressure on one side of the tenon than the other, or cause blow out of fibres on the exit side. But in large timbers this is rarely an issue (the peg just gets stuck)...


This is a very interesting observation. I have never read or heard of this being an issue within other cultures that often employ timbers of smaller dimensions (i.e. 100mm to 150mm square being common) and their related smaller tenons (i.e. 15mm to 25mm.) 30mm is excessively large (comparatively) for such small timbers. My simple grasp of timber engineering and years of experience within the craft would greatly lean me toward considerable concern for such a large tenon in such small timbers.

In Asian, where timbers of smaller dimension are very common both historically and in the contemporary, tenons don't exceed (as I have seen, heard or read about them) more than 25mm to 30mm and that is in the 150mm size timbers. In the "folk styles" like Minka where members are larger, or in the Hanok of Korean we can see 30mm and greater sized tenon or doubling of tenon. In the 75mm to 100mm size timbers they are 15mm and 20mm...This is true in the Zafimaniry (et al) African traditions as well, which tend to use smaller hardwood timbers. I would also note that both cultures also employ "double tenoning" and/or toggling on a fairly common basis as well from what I have knowledge of...

Why do you believe that the French region of Western Europe developed such practices and beliefs regarding the 30mm tenon?

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
What I really find interesting about this is that each person seems to have their own reason for drilling pegs holes after cutting the mortise. Which suggests that it's not a universal system because it's taught that way, or at least everyone has found their own justification....


I would have to challenge that perspective almost completely...

Not only from a contemporary North American perspective, but additionally an historical one as well. Both here and internationally...It is very much "taught," that you bore a pin, or peg hole...after the mortise is cut...not before...in my experience, and knowledge of the craft.

Your shared "pre-boring" is not something I have ever seen, read or experienced before this conversation, and does seem to be a contemporary manifestation within the craft of your region.

Not in any of the timber framing traditions that I am aware of or versed in...Africa, Middle Eastern, Most of Europe, or Asia is "pre-boring" commonly practiced. If at all? That is not to imply that the practice doesn't exist in some other timber framing cultures? If others know of any...I would love to read or hear about it.


Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
All mortises here are 30mm...Neither in modern construction, nor in any of the older buildings that I've worked on...


Jon, when you describe "older" could you give a range? Are we speaking of 19th, 18th, or 17th centuries?

Thanks again for a starting a great topic!!!

Regards,

j


Edited by Jay White Cloud (08/19/18 09:32 PM)
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#34532 - 08/20/18 04:10 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jay White Cloud]
Jon Senior Offline
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Registered: 05/04/11
Posts: 132
Originally Posted By: Jay White Cloud
Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
The first is that boring machines are non-existant here. Those of us without chain mortisers are boring out our mortises with a power drill, often with no stand...


Is this a contemporary perspective and/or historical?



A bit of both. In modern times we either use chain mortisers (I'd guess 95+% of mortises are cut this way) or remove material with a drill and clean up with chisels. Some adventurous types may use an axe or some other chopping tool to hog out material, but mostly it's drill then chisel.

Historically I'm fairly certain that the boring machine never made it to France. The only models that exist here are American made and imported, there are no historical tool catalogues showing anything similar. I have the distinct impression that we went straight from the Tee auger to the power drill.

Originally Posted By: Jay White Cloud

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
Secondly, I was taught "standard practice" here...


In regards to both the smaller size of timber (much more in the Asian size ranges) and to the practice of boring before the timber is mortised...Is this restricted to a contemporary practice or do you have citable documentation that suggest the "pre-boring" and smaller timbers was also an historical "standard practice" for you region?


I can't be certain, and it is possible that this is a contemporary practice. I have seen evidence that mortises had been bored out with an auger before clean-up (circular cut marks and centre guide holes visible at the bottom of the mortise) in old (17th century) timbers, but I can't be certain if the peg holes were drilled first or not. I will ask around, I'll hopefully be seeing François Calame of Charpentiers sans Frontières in few weeks and if anyone knows he will!

Originally Posted By: Jay White Cloud

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
A mis-aligned peg hole can put more pressure on one side of the tenon than the other, or cause blow out of fibres on the exit side. But in large timbers this is rarely an issue (the peg just gets stuck)...


This is a very interesting observation. I have never read or heard of this being an issue within other cultures that often employ timbers of smaller dimensions (i.e. 100mm to 150mm square being common) and their related smaller tenons (i.e. 15mm to 25mm.) 30mm is excessively large (comparatively) for such small timbers. My simple grasp of timber engineering and years of experience within the craft would greatly lean me toward considerable concern for such a large tenon in such small timbers.


I was initially horrified. But I've since seen frames lifted after assembly on the ground (the circumstances in which tenons suffer the most) and while they creak, they've not blown out. And this in "commercial pine"... not even in oak.

Originally Posted By: Jay White Cloud

In Asian, where timbers of smaller dimension are very common both historically and in the contemporary, tenons don't exceed (as I have seen, heard or read about them) more than 25mm to 30mm and that is in the 150mm size timbers. In the "folk styles" like Minka where members are larger, or in the Hanok of Korean we can see 30mm and greater sized tenon or doubling of tenon. In the 75mm to 100mm size timbers they are 15mm and 20mm...This is true in the Zafimaniry (et al) African traditions as well, which tend to use smaller hardwood timbers. I would also note that both cultures also employ "double tenoning" and/or toggling on a fairly common basis as well from what I have knowledge of...

Why do you believe that the French region of Western Europe developed such practices and beliefs regarding the 30mm tenon?


This is nothing but supposition on my part, but...

France has a very strange culture which is both left-leaning (socialist) and very (small c) conservative. I do think that this atmosphere led to the widespread teaching of a traditional technique (trait de charpente) and also, a strong conservation of tradition. But carpentry here (in the sense of the compagnons, and more generally the "corps de métier") has also adapted itself well to industrial developments. Delataille's books on trait include a series of pictures of truss styles for large buildings which often rely heavily on bolted joints. Rather than splintering into "traditional" carpentry (pegged) and industrial "bolted throughout" styles of construction, the whole world of carpentry assimilated the new techniques. Most "traditional" house roof frames now sport a mixture of bolted and pegged joints.

This anecdote shows an eagerness to adopt and adapt to industrial processes and (for me at least) provides a parallel to the adoption of square rule in the US. The use of a consistant tenon size in all timbers and a rule of "always 30mm" simplifies the design and construction process. It allows for faster throughput simply because fewer questions need asking. It's semi-industrial in that by accepting to be less dependant on the arcane knowledge and experience of the "ancestors", it enables the contemporary artisans to remain relevant and competitive.

But this is just my point of view.

Originally Posted By: Jay White Cloud

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
What I really find interesting about this is that each person seems to have their own reason for drilling pegs holes after cutting the mortise. Which suggests that it's not a universal system because it's taught that way, or at least everyone has found their own justification....


I would have to challenge that perspective almost completely...

Not only from a contemporary North American perspective, but additionally an historical one as well. Both here and internationally...It is very much "taught," that you bore a pin, or peg hole...after the mortise is cut...not before...in my experience, and knowledge of the craft.


I phrased that badly. I meant to suggest that the reasoning is not taught... clearly the practice is. What I find interesting is that I was taught this practice with an explanation of why it "should" be used. This does not appear to be the case in the US. I can't speak to Asian timber framing as I have no knowledge at all in that area.

Originally Posted By: Jay White Cloud

Your shared "pre-boring" is not something I have ever seen, read or experienced before this conversation, and does seem to be a contemporary manifestation within the craft of your region.

Not in any of the timber framing traditions that I am aware of or versed in...Africa, Middle Eastern, Most of Europe, or Asia is "pre-boring" commonly practiced. If at all? That is not to imply that the practice doesn't exist in some other timber framing cultures? If others know of any...I would love to read or hear about it.


Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
All mortises here are 30mm...Neither in modern construction, nor in any of the older buildings that I've worked on...


Jon, when you describe "older" could you give a range? Are we speaking of 19th, 18th, or 17th centuries?


The oldest I've worked on that was reliably dateable was 18th century, dating in fact from the period of the revolution (Which might have explained the change in framing style of the roof which felt like the entire team had changed halfway through construction!). I've also worked on vernacular buildings which may have been even older but I've no way of being certain.
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#34533 - 08/20/18 05:05 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Registered: 08/08/09
Posts: 295
Loc: the Netherlands
Yes, every boring machine

I have ever seen

is out of the USA.
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#34534 - 08/20/18 06:50 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
TIMBEAL Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1882
Loc: Maine
Lets remember when the boring machine came out the US was in full on timber frame production mode. The rest of the world was already developed. We needed to build bridges, barns, churches, town halls, grange halls, and the boring machine was put to use. For the rest of the world a few repairs here and there, a T-auger was fine, no rush, same old thing we always used. In reality the boring machine was short lived, and the craft nearly died out with the innovation of stick building and balloon framing. It is no wonder France, Netherland along with other places afar didn't take up that boring old machine.

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#34535 - 08/20/18 11:35 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 534
Loc: Vermont
Hey Jon, et al,

Thanks so much for responding so thoroughly. It is really appreciated!!!

I have always been fascinated with the different orgin stories of this craft, and with the more cultures I got to see and experience the more fascinated I was by both the similarities, as well as the great diversity...

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
Historically I'm fairly certain that the boring machine never made it to France....


That is very interesting to learn...With France being so close to the Germany and other compulsively inventive cultures, I wondered why the IR (industrial revolution) had such different reactions and effects in different countries.

Perhaps because of skill sets and/or normative cultures of different traditions is perhaps why it didn't take more of a hold. I also suspect when you have such old and well establish systems, that changing and/or adapting to "foreign" modalities is resisted, just as the Amish (et al) do today. Not to mention that if a culture has an acient traditional system that works just fine for them, there is little reason to undo that and/or try to change it...Following the logic most common:

"...if it ain't broke...do fix it..."

I have never had a chance to speak with anyone that collects the many different European timber framing tools from the different time periods...Perhaps there is a boring machine out there...Swiss or German???

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
I can't be certain, and it is possible that this is a contemporary practice....I will ask around, I'll hopefully be seeing François Calame of Charpentiers sans Frontières in few weeks and if anyone knows he will!


Thanks for doing that. This is but a small facet of our craft collectively but the subtle difference, even within regions of a given tradition, are often very unique and shed a deeper understanding of how a certain modality evolved.

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
I was initially horrified. But I've since seen frames lifted after assembly on the ground (the circumstances in which tenons suffer the most) and while they creak, they've not blown out. And this in "commercial pine"... not even in oak.
...


In retrospect from what I shared in my last post...I think what I wrote and was thinking (to late after a day of work...LOL) was simply silly...I do have some understanding of timber engineering, as many of us do after decades of practice...However, it is (as stated)...simple.

The Japanese work greatly in Cypress...a very weak species...There PE have set new standards in understanding for horizontal brace systems and complex joinery as it is affected by continues punishment by tectonic event. Many of the Asian frames employ very small tenons and timbers. The Korean use almost exclusively Pine species...The Chinese the same for the most part...with the oldest documented timber frames in the world being found there...

I also realized after posting that the French have one of the riches timber framing cultures of Europe...AND!!!...you do have PE of your own that in the modern context would have something to say about the 30mm tenon and the ~ 20mm cheak around the mortise if it was of some significant danger of catastrophic failure...

Bottom line...there is more to this subject you have brought us! Since these buildings are being built in the contemporary, and I would assume at least some are stamped by a PE of French orgin, there must be some consideration of these dimensions that are out of the contextual understanding as Timberwrights here North America would undoubtedly understand them normally...So there is more to learn hear for sure...

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
This is nothing but supposition on my part, but...

France has a very strange culture which is both left-leaning (socialist) and very (small c) conservative. I do think that this atmosphere led to the widespread teaching of a traditional technique (trait de charpente) and also, a strong conservation of tradition. But carpentry here (in the sense of the compagnons, and more generally the "corps de métier") has also adapted itself well to industrial developments. Delataille's books on trait include a series of pictures of truss styles for large buildings which often rely heavily on bolted joints. Rather than splintering into "traditional" carpentry (pegged) and industrial "bolted throughout" styles of construction, the whole world of carpentry assimilated the new techniques. Most "traditional" house roof frames now sport a mixture of bolted and pegged joints.

This anecdote shows an eagerness to adopt and adapt to industrial processes and (for me at least) provides a parallel to the adoption of square rule in the US. The use of a consistant tenon size in all timbers and a rule of "always 30mm" simplifies the design and construction process. It allows for faster throughput simply because fewer questions need asking. It's semi-industrial in that by accepting to be less dependant on the arcane knowledge and experience of the "ancestors", it enables the contemporary artisans to remain relevant and competitive.

But this is just my point of view....


Seems like a logical conclusion...

Better than others I have read or heard from the "outsider" perspective.

It will be interesting to see what more you learn (and can share) on this and related topics as it applies to our craft of timber framing from the different cultural contexts as it applies to modalites of means, methods and materials...

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
I phrased that badly. I meant to suggest that the reasoning is not taught... clearly the practice is. What I find interesting is that I was taught this practice with an explanation of why it "should" be used. This does not appear to be the case in the US. I can't speak to Asian timber framing as I have no knowledge at all in that area...


Now I understand better where you came from in your thinking regarding this...Thanks..

Originally Posted By: Jon Senior
The oldest I've worked on that was reliably dateable was 18th century, dating in fact from the period of the revolution (Which might have explained the change in framing style of the roof which felt like the entire team had changed halfway through construction!). I've also worked on vernacular buildings which may have been even older but I've no way of being certain....


And these had the 30mm tenon and/or similar mortise/tenon ratio?

Then that would validate your perspectives above and speak to the reason it has evolved the way it has...

Thanks again Jon for this thread post or yours...

I have learned and gotten to think more deeply about tenon/mortise ratios as it applies to cultural modalities...than I would have had a chance to without it...

>>>

Originally Posted By: Cecile en Don Wa
Yes, every boring machine...I have ever seen...is out of the USA.


Thanks Cecile for that confirmation.

Do you know what is found elsewhere in Europe? Do you know if the Swiss or German had manufacture a boring machine of their own?

>>>

Originally Posted By: TIMBEAL
Lets remember when the boring machine came out the US was in full on timber frame production mode. The rest of the world was already developed. We needed to build bridges, barns, churches, town halls, grange halls, and the boring machine was put to use. For the rest of the world a few repairs here and there, a T-auger was fine, no rush, same old thing we always used. In reality the boring machine was short lived, and the craft nearly died out with the innovation of stick building and balloon framing. It is no wonder France, Netherland along with other places afar didn't take up that boring old machine.


I agree that North America was at "full steam" in building the infrastructure it needed to accommodate its European immigrants...Of that there is know doubt...

I don't believe I could agree that the rest of the world was "already developed." Not by a long shot...

European culture was hell bent on invading everywhere between 1350 and 1850...This invasive expansion had all manner of ramification (bad and good.) I would add that timber framing was going on from Europe and Africa to the Middle East and accross all of Asia...All at the same time (and for millenia) that Europeans in North America were developing their own styles..Not discounting the many indigenous styles already present here and being practiced.

Culturally (just as one of countless examples) the Chinese did and still have some of the oldest and most enduring timber framing cultures in the world...some based on an 18 year rotational and/or addition expansion of existing structures of villages. This was and is so prevalent in some region that to the point the species of Pine tree they employ is called the "eighteen year pine." It is planted as a dowry for the children of villages for the day marriage. This Southern Chinese folk culture has been timber framing nonstop prolifically for over 4000 plus years and many of the joinery systems developed there are what evolved to build the Forbidden City...That is one of too many examples to list...

I think the primary reason the IR didn't effect the rest of the timber framing world had to do more with acient and established systems of the craft. Ours (immigrant European to North America) was an amalgamation of so many different styles and modalities of design and construction...from English and French to German, Dutch, Nordic and splattered here and there with indigenous understandings as well...and open to innovation as they perceived it...

When speaking strictly of volume of timber frames produced...historically I doubt we even came close to the volume being produced in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia...when it's all taken into complete context...Even today we are still greatly out produced comparatively...Not that this is a terribly important point...just an interesting one to ponder...
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#34536 - 08/21/18 07:52 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
TIMBEAL Offline
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Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1882
Loc: Maine
My post are no where as wordy as yours are, Jay. So there is much to be read between the lines of my post. As you say, some Asian cultures have been actively framing for over 4000 years into today. Did they ever design a boring machine? Not that we know of. The rush to build timber frames was dying out here by the late 1890's and all but forgotten very soon after. It took nearly 100 more years to dig it out of the dust bin and brush it off(timber framing). The boring machine as we know it only had a life of around 50 years. The feed screw was invented in the late 1790's, it still took them a few years to turn that T-auger into a bit you put into a machine and turned with cranks and gears. There must be a lull in timber framing in the Asian world, did it coincide with what we saw here in the States?

I agree with your last statement. The US is a very young country, and as such it has no where near the building history of Europe and Asia. But we were industrious and built sharply with an innovative approach, which is why timber framing almost died.

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#34537 - 08/21/18 10:12 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: TIMBEAL]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Posts: 534
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Hi Tim!

Originally Posted By: TIMBEAL
...So there is much to be read between the lines of my post...


I do sincerely apologize to any folks like you that find my post "too wordy."

It is a habit from military reporting, then years of teaching and probably also reminiscent of the science and clinical work I did...Where if it isn't written...it didn't happen, and what is written needs to leave no room for confusion or interpretation...

I must also admit fully that I am attroshis at "reading between the lines." I think I probably am conditioned not to because it leads to assumptions...Not a habit I like promoting...

Originally Posted By: TIMBEAL
...As you say, some Asian cultures have been actively framing for over 4000 years into today. Did they ever design a boring machine? Not that we know of...


Actually they (Chinese) did...as you must remember the invented Gunpowder, the Printed word (and press), compartmentalize pelagic vessels before Europe even left the mediterranean..and many other asstounding innovations of acient technology. Then they really did just "stop."...???...

but nothing like the much more mechanical versions we know as a "boring machines." They had/have two primary large scale versions, one very similar to the form the Egyptians and African cultures employ called (translated loosely) as "swing drill." Mainly used in small scale woodworking but sometime applied to certain timber frame traditions as well...

They also have the ubiquitous "T Auger" which is still rather popular to the point that they will take "Owl Bits" from Japan and weld a pipe section to the end to insert a handle...There actually pretty darn quick with these from what I have seen and accurate as well...Not commonly used in timber framing though...or, not that I know of?

I would also point out there was simply no need or advantage to them to have developed a more mechanical version of boring than they already sometimes employed for there different forms of timber farming...As with many other timber framing cultures. There system has been developed over millenia and as such has an efficiency of application and speed overall that wouldn't really benefit from and/or require a boring machine as we know it...No advantage


Originally Posted By: TIMBEAL
...The rush to build timber frames was dying out here by the late 1890's and all but forgotten very soon after. It took nearly 100 more years to dig it out of the dust bin and brush it off(timber framing). The boring machine as we know it only had a life of around 50 years. ...


I don't believe I can agree with that statement...???

First the Boring Machine came about around 1830's as I know it and was well applied all the way up to the 1940's. This information and testament to application is not commonly known nor well recorded nor common knowledge in certain circles, while in others it is...That is well over 100 years and in some instances never died out completely in some boat yards, barnwrighting groups, etc.

The Old Amish/Mennonite/River Baptist Barnwrights I apprenticed to for over ten years in the 70's had at least a half dozen of these and many T Augers, Brace, Gimlet, etc...all very much used regularly...

As to the craft of timber framing "dying out" I have always considered that a subjective perspective based more on personal understanding and regional variations...In many areas it well may have "died out" in others it was a short hiatus at worst and why the craft survived as well as it did...My personal exposure being both from the Japanese and then the Amish and related cultural groups never saw a lose of it at all. With some families in Japan having a direct and unbroken linage that goes back over 1000 years, and they have strong ties here in North America...As do many of the Swiss in some areas...

Originally Posted By: TIMBEAL
There must be a lull in timber framing in the Asian world, did it coincide with what we saw here in the States?


I think we can agree that the "folf arts" in general have had a shift in popularity in many regions of the world, but in others it simply is a way of life and hasn't changed for millenia...or ever stopped at all...Not sure why you would state "there must be a lull?"

One of the reasons I specialize in and find fascination with "folk styles" of timber framing is its age and enduring popularity. These are simply the oldest forms and the most enduring still today...No matter the culture of which we speak...

Asian has turned very much to the modern world and the West for many of its current inspirations both technologically and culturally as well...

Nevertheless, this is very much an urban phenomenon...In the rural countryside timber framing is the only way people get to have a house...There isn't another choice and/or they don't choose to live in a more contemporary format...This is actually growing in popularity with a "grass roots" insurgency in many regions...This includes the architecture of both homes and bridges...

It could also explain why our craft is exploding on a global scale...Good for us!!!


Originally Posted By: TIMBEAL
...I agree with your last statement. The US is a very young country, and as such it has no where near the building history of Europe and Asia. But we were industrious and built sharply with an innovative approach, which is why timber framing almost died.


We are young nation comparatively in many respects...and...the world leaders in being "industrious." I think personally we still are the leaders of inventiveness if averages are looked at but I'm biased toward that perspective as an American...

I think the IR did us a great disservice in many ways with the attempt at killing skilled labor and craftsmanship...I don't think timber framing ever came close to dying out at all...(a common held perception?) Was it uncommon for about 40 years...yes, I personally think that is true. I think the dying out prespection is real...of that there is no doubt...but...in actuality, there was just too many still using it regularly right up into the 1970's for it to ever come close to "dying out," we have only seen a greater and greater resurgence with each passing decade.

I would also share, as a point of interest, that there is clear evidence in pockets around the nation that this craft had its little nucleuses always running virtually unbroken in many ways. From Tide Water Capes in Delaware and Maryland region, to the Barnwrights (rare but working) all the way to Balloon Frames in the Boston area that employ joinery instead of hardware to form the frames...A timber framed "stick building" for lack of a better description...LOL

Thanks for the discussion Tim and your perspectives...Its always a pleasure to think about these things!

Regards,

j
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#34538 - 08/22/18 04:19 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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We had a similar discussion at the Kesurokai in Germany about the scope of timber framing there. It's not subject to speculation or opinion because the figures are kept and according to Hannes this kind of construction makes up about 0,01 percent of all construction. I believe that the German case represents the high end as well. When the population a species of animal reaches a similar decline we speak of it as extinct so I disagree with both Tim's idea of a resuscitation and Jay's of a continuation. My sense is more of an externally induced life support condition.
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#34539 - 08/22/18 05:50 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
TIMBEAL Offline
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Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 1882
Loc: Maine
On the scale of things, you are so most correct Cecile. As for Jay's perfumed and fluffy presentation its almost like living a dream, thanks Jay.

Somewhere in the bowels of the forum I have documented a timber frame build by my one of my grandfathers in the early 1950's, he was still building in timber frame mode, if I recall the pegs were broom handles cut down, no joke. The building is still standing today. A little tidbit for you Jay, of what lies between the lines.

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#34540 - 08/22/18 07:01 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Cecile en Don Wa]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
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Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: Cecile en Don Wa
...It's not subject to speculation or opinion because the figures are kept and according to Hannes this kind of construction makes up about 0,01 percent of all construction...


LOL...As "wordy" as I can be...I still failed to clarify the difference between comparative amounts built in the contemporary to other forms of construction...and...consistent, unbroken knowledge base within the craft and regional varablities as well...

I would not argue we don't now have the Lion's share of construction. Of course we don't as what we do isn't industrialized...however the popularity is growing, along with more interest in it each year and appreciation for it...

Originally Posted By: Cecile en Don Wa
...I believe that the German case represents the high end as well...


Before I disagree emphatically...I should ask why you think this is the case with your understanding of the craft?

Do you know the actual comparatives in all the European countries from actual observation, correspondence, intense study, client feedback, or other more in depth examination?

Have you studied visited and/or corresponded with practitioners from other countries, and again for how long?

How many cultures have you visited, studied and for how long?

Originally Posted By: Cecile en Don Wa
...When the population a species of animal reaches a similar decline we speak of it as extinct...


Being a Zoology-Ethology major in college and having worked as a Field Ecologist, Husbandrist and Zookeeper I am sorry that isn't correct at all...

Extinct means...goan...nonexistent...no forms found in the wild or captivity. Unless clearly designated extinct in wild populations only.

So, if you are making a comparative between timber framing and animals...Timber framing isn't even "threatened" or "rare." To suggest that is obtuse.

Using the "animal" comparative metaphor would place timber framing into the class of variably site specific in population density. Just today I walked a street to a restoration project where over 70% of the homes are timber framed. I can suggest you take a "google earth tour of rural Japan or Korea...where that number is in the 90% to 100% number and new structures in many region of these countries can reach 50% to 80% depending on location...Similar number in parts of China, Madagascar, Indonesian, India...and so on...

Originally Posted By: Cecile en Don Wa
... so I disagree with both Tim's idea of a resuscitation and Jay's of a continuation. My sense is more of an externally induced life support condition. ...


That, at best, is a very unsubstantiated opinion, and not grounded on a globale, let alone regionally specific perspective of the craft either historically or in the contemporary...

Tim's viewpoint of "resuscitation" is very accurate in many regards but belaboring those examples would make this post "wordy" that it already is...LOL...We can agree to disagree on this point, as you love the craft and so do the rest of us...That's what's important! Just by you practicing it is a win-win from my perspective!!

Regards,

j
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#34541 - 08/22/18 07:13 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: TIMBEAL]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 534
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: TIMBEAL
On the scale of things, you are so most correct Cecile. As for Jay's perfumed and fluffy presentation its almost like living a dream, thanks Jay.


Thank's Tim...You are most welcome!

LOL...I am to pleased to give anyone a "dream" or "perfumed and fluffy presentation" of our craft!!!...

What's important...is keep spreading the word!!! And enjoying what you do!!

Originally Posted By: TIMBEAL
Somewhere in the bowels of the forum I have documented a timber frame build by my one of my grandfathers in the early 1950's, he was still building in timber frame mode, if I recall the pegs were broom handles cut down, no joke. The building is still standing today. A little tidbit for you Jay, of what lies between the lines...


Awesome!!!

Thanks for sharing that...!!!

I would suggest it also kind of makes my point to a degree doesn't it?

The craft maybe less practiced in most industrialized countries...No doubt, but its not rare by any stretch of the imagination...At least not in my world at all. Nor growing less in popularity (I'm overwhelmed with work!!!)

If one actually spends time (or decades) traveling and studying the craft in other countries and/or documentation, along with the human experience of exchange...It can be called common...

Even a communist country like China has listened to UNESCO and made certain regions world heritage sites...Go ahead and try to build something in those communities that does not sit on stone plinth foundation and be a timber frame structure...It is the complete opposite to Cecil's 0.01%
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#34542 - 08/23/18 03:00 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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We all know the saying, "He can't see the forest for the trees." It's nice down there in the thick of it isn't it , Jay.
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#34544 - 08/23/18 09:20 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
Posts: 534
Loc: Vermont
Hi Cecile...

LOL...It is "thick" at times...both the view and my skull I've been told...

I do here you undertone, that there are "deserts" where our craft is greatly lacking. No disagreement there. Just leaves more work for us to do...

Cheers,

j
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#34546 - 08/24/18 08:34 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jim Rogers Online   confused

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At Heartwood school yesterday, I asked a timber framing instructor which order he does his mortise peg holes.
His comment that if you bore the peg hole first and then the mortise you don't have to clean out the "blow out" that happens in the mortise when the peg hole bit breaks the first surface of the inside of the mortise.
Doesn't seem like a big deal until you consider if you have hundreds of mortises in a frame and you have to spend time cleaning out the chips that blow out in each one of them. It could add up to a considerable amount of "clean up" time.
Jim Rogers
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#34547 - 08/25/18 09:28 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Cecile en Don Wa Offline
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Loc: the Netherlands
Here is a section out of the great website from Calame which is dialing in on the mortise in its French iteration, http://www.en.charpentiers.culture.fr/tr...hepiecesofwood# While there is evidence of the 30 mm mortise, personally I find no indication that drilling the mortise-side peg hole first is going on. Jon, I think what you have been taught is a deviation from normal or the technique as it is widely practiced even in France. Of course this is not to make a judgement of the rational you use to explain drilling the peg hole at the earliest possible moment.
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#34548 - 08/26/18 04:48 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Thanks Cecile...Great link!!!
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#34549 - 08/26/18 04:57 PM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jim Rogers]
Jay White Cloud Offline
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Registered: 11/06/08
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Originally Posted By: Jim Rogers
At Heartwood school yesterday, I asked a timber framing instructor which order he does his mortise peg holes.
His comment that if you bore the peg hole first and then the mortise you don't have to clean out the "blow out" that happens in the mortise when the peg hole bit breaks the first surface of the inside of the mortise...


I still stand on my original post comments that this is not a historical or contemporary common standard.

I would also suggest again the amount of work to drill through more wood (though perhaps not Jon's example of timber size...???) is going to be more labor intensive than placing a sacrificial block of wood inside a mortise to mitigate "blowout" (which is our standard when really worried about it or if a person is having a challenge with this happening and/or just pay more attention to the force that is being applied during the boring process.

Sharp, properly maintained and used drill bits (T-auger or modern) should not "blow out" the inside check of a mortise at all or badly enough to be a concern...nor require any significant clean up. I would suggest that if this is taking place it is an operational error and not a need to change or adjust approach modality...

Just my observations on the subject, but still an interesting topic to explore...


Edited by Jay White Cloud (08/26/18 04:58 PM)
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#34550 - 08/27/18 08:53 AM Re: Joint cutting - Process [Re: Jon Senior]
Will B Offline

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Jim,
I'm fairly certain that Dave's preference to drill the hole first only applies when using a chain mortiser, for the reasons stated earlier, and probably an electric drill for the pin.
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